Is It Time to Hire a Designated Instagram Marketer?

Opinion: Now would be an advantageous time to look into it

Consider designating or even hiring a new team member to focus only on your Instagram marketing efforts alexsl/iStock

Is Instagram becoming a drain on your time and resources? If so, no wonder: Instagram now has over 25 million business profiles and 2 million monthly active advertisers. It is a dream social network if it is used correctly and campaigns run successfully. But for many marketing teams, it can be extremely time-consuming to keep up with all of the new features and ways to interact with followers.

For many teams, it may be time to consider designating or even hiring a new team member to focus only on your Instagram marketing efforts. Let’s take a look at why Instagram is such a vital channel for social media marketing, and whether or not it’s the right time for you to hire a dedicated Instagrammer for your brand.

How Instagram created marketing opportunities

Instagram’s statistics are mind-boggling. Instagram users like 4.2 billion posts per day, and 80 percent of users follow a business. If Instagram was considered an important marketing channel before 2016, this only accelerated when the Stories feature was introduced.

There are around 400 million daily users of Instagram Stories, and the feature significantly increases users’ visibility and reach. As of 2018, Stories can have music in the background, subject tracking (sports, celebrity gossip, etc.) and include interactive question-and-answer sessions.

A recent Socialbakers study of 1,100 businesses revealed that Stories accounted for one-fifth of their total impressions on the channel. While it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out on Facebook without a budget for paid advertising, the ability to reach a wide audience and market to more people for free on Instagram is an attractive alternative for brands regardless of their social media budgets.

Stories impressions are also organic—something that both businesses and marketers can appreciate.

But the Stories feature isn’t the only change that Instagram has released successfully. Live video also opened a whole range of marketing opportunities, including live video chats. Live videos are a great way to boost engagement from followers and be seen by others outside of your immediate following.

Again, live video views are organic and an attractive marketing opportunity when budgets are being stretched to accommodate the overabundance of social channels offered.

Finally, IGTV was introduced in the summer of 2018, effectively giving Instagram users the ability to create their own TV channels. Marketers are still working out the potential impact of this new feature.

How Instagram marketing is changing

Instagram might be the perfect channel to achieve organic views and impressive organic reach, but that doesn’t make it easy. Instagram’s constant updates included a change to its application-programming interface. Third-party social media tools can no longer:

  • Like or reply to content.
  • See a full profile, who a user follows or who they are followed by.
  • Follow or unfollow users.

Facebook pages also need to be connected and reauthenticated for Instagram business profiles to work.

Why adding an Instagram marketer is the next step

Combining the above raft of new features and changes with the recent API changes means that Instagram is going to be a bigger drain on marketers’ time and resources than ever before. For many marketing teams, it may be time to designate or hire a dedicated Instagram marketer.

For one, Instagram’s API change is a major setback for time-strapped marketing teams. With third-party automation tools unable to help with certain aspects of marketing and engaging on Instagram, the ability to automate tasks is limited, and more manual involvement is required to keep a brand’s Instagram page afloat.

Even if the API changes didn’t occur, garnering organic reach and engagement on Instagram still requires a certain level of manual uploading of organic content. No automation tool can press Live and create live content to entertain followers or answer their personal Live chat questions. Stories, too, are supposed to be authentic and of the moment. After all, they only last for 24 hours. These constraints make scheduling and creating content ahead of time more difficult.

For marketing teams that haven’t already hired someone to create content using these highly-engaging features on Instagram, now might be a good time. The success of Instagram’s latest features has only cemented its importance as a vital marketing channel for brands in almost any industry. But it is keeping up with these changes, and making them work for your business, that can push a dedicated employee from “desirable” to “necessary.”

A designated Instagram marketer is also able to do the manual liking and following that creates an engaged and up-to-date profile. Being able to like, share and follow other accounts is a vital part of being on Instagram. Add that to the pressure of creating live content and Stories, and Instagram has created a situation in which having a marketing strategy and content plan is more important than ever.

If hiring an Instagram marketer has been at the back of your team’s mind, now would be an advantageous time to look into it. If the direction that Instagram is headed in is anything to go by, then there will be even more exciting opportunities (and trickier API hoops to jump through) in the future.

Like Facebook, having a budget for paid advertising can be an advantage on Instagram. However, paid advertising is not yet a requirement for a successful Instagram marketing campaign, thereby leaving room in the budget for smaller teams to bring on an Instagram expert if the time feels right.

Albizu Garcia is co-founder and CEO of Gain, which automates the collaboration process around creative and social content for major agencies and brands. Follow him on Twitter: @albizu.